Getting a Fresh Start

I’ve never been a fan of spring cleaning. Why spend more time cleaning indoors just as the weather is starting to change for the better? I prefer spending a good chunk of time deep cleaning the apartment in January. Starting the new year with a clean, uncluttered living space helps me focus my attention on resolutions and the year ahead.

Light Fixtures: Dusting light fixtures and changing burned out bulbs are chores I usually put off, but accomplishing these small tasks brighten living spaces in the dark, gloomy winter months. Don’t forget to replace those bulbs with energy-efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs.

Kitchen: So, I just found some dried basil that expired in 2007. What?! While it might be fun taking expiration-date-inspired trips down memory lane, no one should have spices this old. Start the new year off right by throwing out expired spices, grains, oils and condiments. If you can’t find a date, smell it – or, if you’re brave, taste it. If it doesn’t smell right, toss it. Also, wipe down refrigerator and freezer shelves and doors before restocking.

Closets and Drawers: This is the perfect time to reevaluate your wardrobe, organize closet shelves, and declutter the junk drawer. In fact, maybe it’s time to get rid of the junk drawer all together. Who needs all this junk?!

Floors and Walls: Baseboards and walls take a beating throughout the year. My favorite tool for tackling stubborn spots and stains is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I don’t know how this little, white sponge works, but it gets the job done. Spaghetti sauce splatter stains in the kitchen? Christmas tree stains along the entryway wall? Shoe scuffs behind the desk? This sponge wipes them out without much elbow grease.

Electronics: I’m mainly referring to my laptop, y’all. This thing grosses me out. I plan on making more money by writing in 2013, so I need my laptop in tip-top shape.

Do you save cleaning for the spring or do you prefer a fresh start to the year?

Jenna’s Summer Love Soundtrack

I made a summer music mix for my sister’s birthday and wanted to share it. It’s full of happy, sweet and soulful songs, and I can’t stop playing it – at the coffee shop while I’m working, around the house while I’m cleaning, in the kitchen while I’m cooking. It may not look like summer around here – Seattleites call this Junuary – but at least I have some sunny tunes.

Enjoy!

 

Feet on the Ground, Head in the Clouds

My goodness! It’s been a while. Since I last saw you a lot has happened.

I hosted a movie night for my girlfriends and, while I was a bit apprehensive about the lack of space and seating, it was a success. Tip: Floor pillows are a lot more comfortable than one might think. Stay tuned for more excellent small-space movie night tips.

I turned 29. I feel seven in spite of myself. In fact, I threw a tantrum and cried like a little girl when I realized my 20s are slipping away. I can’t even pretend to be a child anymore and it’s not fair and I need my mom.

Dave and I went to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, where we gathered lots of inspiration for how we want our space to look and feel. I love that beach-y, bohemian vibe that seems to come naturally to Californians.

And with all of the weekend getaways, working hard at our day jobs, and finding time to hit the gym, I’ve realized how important it is that our home be a comfortable sanctuary. Hopefully, this blog will help me get it there.